Step through a portion of Miami's history (©Bike Miami)
A neighborhood of Miami, Little Havana is a vibrant area considered the epicenter of Cuban culture and heritage. This famed street is well-known for hosting a variety of events including the annual Calle Ocho festival, monthly Viernes Culturales (Cultural Fridays) and more. Follow Calle Ocho (SW 8th St.) east towards Downtown Miami/Biscayne Bay and you'll find yourself in Little Havana. Stop in at the Little Havana Visitor Center on 14th Avenue and SW 8th Street to pickup maps, attraction brochures and learn about discount offers from merchants. Open M-Sa, 10 am-6 pm, Su 10 am-3 pm.
Highlights and Tips:
- Start at El Pub restaurant for your dose of "café Cubano," "cafecito" or Cuban coffee which is a sweet espresso or a fresh guava pastry. Here you'll also find the perfect photo-op, two six-foot (two-meter) rooster statues, that dot Eight Street.
- Head east to tour the cigar stores and see cigars hand-rolled as it was done in Cuba. You can take some home for yourself from one of the many shops in the neighborhood.
- Maximo Gomez Park: Known to locals as "Domino Park," this popular attraction is not only a place to play dominoes and chess, but has been an important social gathering place for generations of Cubans to discuss political issues. The small park is accented with a large mural depicting the Presidents of the Americas painted to commemorate the Summit of the Americas held in Miami in 1993.
- The Cubaocho Art and Research Center is a little-known cultural center where you'll see art from the 1800s to 1958 by Cuban artists. On Friday and Saturday nights, the gallery turns into a live entertainment venue showcasing tango, salsa and musical talent.
- What better way to beat the Miami heat than with ice cream. Featuring every tropical flavor imaginable, from coconut flan to dulce de leche (caramel) and the trademarked Abuela Maria made with guava, Azucar Ice Cream Company is the sweet spot of your trip.